One of the more notable features of Apple's upcoming iPhone 8 and iPhone X are their improved AR technology, which will allow for a greater range of games and apps to take advantage of the functionality. With Pokemon Go being the most successful AR game on the market, developer Niantic weighed in on what the new tech means for augmented reality.
In a post on Medium, Niantic CEO John Hanke shared his thoughts on the hurdles still facing AR. "So… did we just see the future today? Yes and no," Hanke wrote. "AR on phones is a very important step on the path to full AR. But it's a step that should be understood as one with limitations in its current form factor and level of development."
He went on to clarify what he means when he refers to augmented reality. "Many will interpret AR to mean merely the visual effect that you experience with a device where a digital object or annotation is overlaid on the camera view on the screen," Hanke said. "But that's really missing the point, in our opinion. What AR really means is connecting digital information, objects and experiences with the physical world in situ as you experience them."
With that said, Hanke called the iPhones "a cool step forward," but it will take more than simply overlaying on object on a real-world surface to advance augmented reality forward. "It's an important stepping stone and that's why Niantic is committed to fully exploiting that technology on today's devices," Hanke wrote. "When used correctly, it can be a powerful way to enhance your experience with the physical world. But apps that merely place a digital object on your kitchen table don't really qualify as 'AR' in our view."
You can read Hanke's full post here. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus release on September 22, with the iPhone X following on November 3. You can read about the other announcements from Apple's keynote event here.